Man City Face One-Season Champions League Ban

The odds of Manchester City being banned from the Champions League for alleged breaches of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules are growing, according to reports.

The Times says that officials investigating the case “will push for a suspension of one season” if they can prove a story first covered in German magazine Der Spiegel that a £59.5m (N27.8bn) sponsorship deal in 2015 was paid directly by the club’s owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, instead of from Etihad Airways.

The Times reports that UEFA’s financial control body, headed by former Belgium prime minister Yves Leterme, met earlier this month to wrap up its investigation, and are set to recommend a Champions League ban of at least one season.

UEFA will decide in the coming weeks whether to act on the recommendation, but if it does ban the Sky Blues from the Champions League for a season, the punishment would be “unlikely” to come into effect in time for the 2019-20 campaign.

Despite the possibility of a ban, the back-to-back Premier League champions are plotting to strengthen their squad over the summer with what the Daily Mail describes as a £200m (N93.5bn) spree.

Manager Pep Guardiola is particularly keen to sign Atletico Madrid central midfielder Rodri and Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, and the Spaniard is also said to be tracking Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic and teenage Benfica sensation Joao Felix.

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